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Federalism, Taxation, and Economic Growth

  • Hatfield, John

    (Stanford U)

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    We show that federalism will lead to higher economic growth. We present a model of endogenous growth where government services, funded by income and capital taxes, are a component of production. In this model a decentralized government will choose tax policy to maximize economic growth, while a centralized government will not do so. Furthermore, these conclusions hold regardless of whether the government is beholden to a median voter or is a rent-maximizing Leviathan. However, a decentralized government will under- provide a consumptive public good. Finally, we show our results are robust to imperfect capital mobility between districts and in such a model that districts with a lower total factor productivity will choose a more growth-enhancing tax policy.

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    File URL: http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/library/RP1929.pdf
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    Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1929.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1929
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5015
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    Web page: http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/
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    1. Maurice Obstfeld, 1998. "The Global Capital Market: Benefactor or Menace?," NBER Working Papers 6559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
    4. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-62, December.
    5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    6. Rubinchik-Pessach, Anna, 2005. "Can decentralization be beneficial?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1231-1249, July.
    7. Barro, R.J., 1988. "Government Spending In A Simple Model Of Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 130, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    8. KEEN, Michael & MARCHAND, Maurice, 1996. "Fiscal Competition and the Pattern of Public Spending," CORE Discussion Papers 1996001, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    9. Willmann, Gerald, 2003. "Why Legislators are Protectionists: the Role of Majoritarian Voting in Setting Tariffs," Economics Working Papers 2003,10, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521027922 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
    12. John Duggan & Mark Fey, 2006. "Repeated Downsian electoral competition," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 39-69, December.
    13. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
    14. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
    15. Hamid Davoodi & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," CEMA Working Papers 98, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    16. Lockwood, Ben, 1998. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2046, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. " Decentralization and Corruption: Evidence from U.S. Federal Transfer Programs," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(1-2), pages 25-35, October.
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